The Influence of Horace on the Chief English Poets of the Nineteenth Century

By Mary Rebecca Thayer | Go to book overview

ALFRED LORD TENNYSON

I. Unquestionable traces of Horace
1. As we have seen, Tennyson's acquaintance with Horace began early in his life; and it is appropriate that we should find in his first extant letter, written to his aunt, Marianne Fytche, when he was twelve years old, the following sentence:

'It [the word diffused in Samson Agonistes] has the same meaning
as "temere" in one of the Odes of Horace, Book the second:

Sic temere et rosa
Canos odorati capillos
,

of which this is a free translation: "Why lie we not at random, under the shade of the plantain (sub platano), having our hoary head perfumed with rose water?"

See Carm. 2. 11. 14-15.

2. Motto of Parnassus:

Exegi monumentum . . . . . .
Quod non . . . . . . . . .
Possit diruere . . . innumerabilis
Annorum series et fuga temporum
.

Horace.

See Carm. 3. 30. 1-5. Tennyson's poem shows no trace of the Horatian ode, however, unless it be the phrase 'flight of the Ages' (fuga temporum).

3. From Becket 5. 2:

And one [wife] an uxor pauperis Ibyci.

See Carm. 3. 15. 1.

4. From an undated letter to James Spedding:

'The birds must sing and the furze bloom for you and Fitzgerald
alone, par nobile fratrum.'

See Serm. 2. 3. 243.

5. From a letter-diary written from Glastonbury, August, 1854:

'I took shelter over Arimathaean Joseph's bones in the crypt of
his chapel, for they say (credat Iudaeus) he lies there.'

See Serm. 1. 5. 100.

-94-

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The Influence of Horace on the Chief English Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Table of Contents 9
  • Introduction 11
  • William Wordsworth 53
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge 65
  • Lord Byron 69
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley 85
  • John Keats 93
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson 94
  • Robert Browning 102
  • Index of Passages from Horace 115
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